Rail organisations unite to call for supplier capacity to be considered in North and Midlands Rail Plans
Groups representing rail suppliers across the UK have united to respond to the National Infrastructure Commission’s inquiry on developing an integrated rail plan for the Midlands and North of England.
In their joint response, Northern Rail Industry Leaders (NRIL), Rail Forum Midlands (RFM) and the Railway Industry Association (RIA), have called for:
- HS2, Northern Powerhouse Rail and Midlands Rail Hub all to be delivered in full and integrated with one another and the current network;
- The capabilities of the rail industry to be considered in the sequencing and pacing of the projects, to ensure the sector can build up capacity to deliver this ambitious programme of projects;
- That Government, Sub National Transport Bodies and client bodies work with the rail industry to ensure efficient delivery;
- That decarbonisation, skills, digitalisation and innovation are considered throughout the lifetime of these rail projects; and
- That the industry learn from earlier projects, look for opportunities to reduce overhead costs and bring forward early development work at pace.
Mike Hulme and Justin Moss, Co-Chairs of Northern Rail Industry Leaders (NRIL), said: “Over the coming decade, rail investment will be vital to businesses across the UK, including in the North of England. This ambitious programme, however, will also require significant capacity in the rail supply sector – Northern Powerhouse Rail alone will require over £5 billion of work and some 90,000 skilled workers at its peak year. It is therefore essential that delivery bodies and clients work together to space out work, and ensure the industry is ready over the coming years to deliver.”
Elaine Clark, Chief Executive of Rail Forum Midlands, said: “HS2 together with Midlands Rail Hub will transform the region, generating jobs, economic growth and spurring investment. It is important that these investments help leave a legacy in the rail supply chain, which in turn could help the UK develop even more of a competitive advantage as it looks to develop new markets overseas.”
Darren Caplan, Chief Executive of the Railway Industry Association, said: “HS2, Northern Powerhouse Rail and Midlands Rail Hub, alongside Network Rail’s investment programme and other schemes like the Trans Pennine Route Upgrade and East West Rail, have the opportunity to make the coming years a ‘golden age’ for rail. And building major rail schemes for the Midlands and the North benefit rail suppliers throughout the whole country, boosting jobs, GVA and innovation for UK plc. So we fully support this call for evidence and look forward to seeing its outcomes in the months ahead.”